After A Heavily Pregnant Woman Helped Deliver A Baby, She Knew She Had To See A Doctor

When Amanda Hess arrived at the hospital to deliver her baby, she probably never expected that she would end up helping out another mom through her labor. But after she did, the mom-to-be knew that she needed to see a medical professional, and fast.

Hess is from Frankfort, Kentucky, and works as a gynecologist and obstetrician. Aside from delivering babies on a daily basis, the doctor has two little lives of her own to care for. In the summer of 2017 she was already the mother of one and preparing to welcome her second baby.

After working throughout her pregnancy, in July 2017 the doctor turned patient when she checked into Frankfort Regional Medical Center to give birth. However, little did the OB/GYN know that her own birth wasn’t the only delivery that she would end up taking part in.

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As Hess laid in her hospital gown preparing to deliver, she heard a commotion coming from a nearby room. The off-duty doctor could apparently hear an expectant mother howling, and it soon became evident that the woman’s unborn baby was in trouble.

The woman in question was Leah Halliday Johnson, and it appeared that her baby was arriving much more quickly than originally thought. However, while Halliday had the urge to push, doing so could have been dangerous since the infant’s umbilical cord was caught around her neck.

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When Hess checked the monitor in her room that keeps doctors informed as to patients’ conditions, she noticed that her neighbor was indeed facing complications. Her baby’s heart rate was dipping worryingly low as the mom-to-be battled contractions.

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Given the maternity doctor’s experience in such situations, Hess could sense the heightened tensions among the hospital staff. So when she spotted nurses moving at speed down the hospital corridor, she asked them if they needed help. And it just so happened that they did.

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It turned out that the OB/GYN who was on duty at the time was out of the building. The doctor left after nurses informed him that they had no patients on the maternity ward. However, Hess and Halliday Johnson both arrived shortly after, and the latter’s birth seemed imminent.

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Hess, realizing that she was the best qualified person in the hospital to help, leapt into action. “I put on another gown to cover up my backside and put on some boots over my shoes, to keep from getting any fluid  on me, and went down to her room,” the doctor told Kentucky’s WKYT News.

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When Hess arrived in the delivery room, she realized that she had previously treated Halliday Johnson during her pregnancy. While the heavily pregnant OB/GYN hadn’t been her only doctor, she had examined her on a handful of occasions. With that in mind, it must have given the distressed woman some comfort to see a familiar face.

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Later in 2017 Halliday Johnson told NBC News, “I saw [Hess] three or four times, and I liked her a lot. She wasn’t supposed to be on call since she was having a baby herself.” But while the expectant mom knew that her doctor was pregnant, she had no idea that the OB/GYN was also about to deliver.

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Recalling Hess’ professional demeanor, Halliday Johnson said, “She was definitely in doctor mode. My husband noticed that she had on a hospital gown, but I didn’t notice that because I was on the delivery table. I was in my own world there.”

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When Halliday Johnson had arrived at the hospital she was only one centimeter dilated. However, it appeared that her fourth child was in a hurry to get out into the world. As a result, there had been no time for doctors to administer the expectant mom any pain relief.

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However, with Hess at her side, Halliday Johnson was well on her way to delivering a healthy little girl. “She was just glad to be able to get to push and have the baby out and not have to wait any longer,” Hess later recalled to WKYT.

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Soon after Halliday Johnson’s daughter arrived, Hess handed her care over to the on-call OB/GYN who had returned to the hospital. The expectant doctor then returned to her room where she was induced. One hour later her contractions began, and by the next morning she had welcomed a new daughter of her own.

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While Hess had planned to work throughout her pregnancy, she didn’t expect to deliver a baby in the hours before her own labor. “I had actually taken a call the day before, so I thought really that I was working up to the last minute,” she told LEX 18 news in Kentucky in 2017. “But this was literally ’til the last second.”

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But while Hess laughed her efforts off, to Halliday Johnson she was a hero. “She’s definitely earned her time off,” the new mom told NBC news. “I appreciate what she did for my family, and it speaks a lot to who she is as a woman, as well as a doctor.”

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Halliday Johnson added that Hess’ actions had made her feel proud to be a mom and a female. “It makes you feel better, bringing a baby girl into the world, knowing there are women like her willing to step up like that,” she said.

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However, despite Halliday Johnson’s kind words, Hess was quick to brush off any praise. “Delivering other people’s babies is something I do every day,” she said. “And I’m more comfortable with delivering someone else’s baby than my own, for sure.”

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Following her epic double-delivery, Hess enjoyed some much needed time off with her new daughter Ellen and her oldest child Kate. And for the maternity doctor, delivering someone else’s baby was the best start to her planned eight week maternity leave. “It was a perfect way to get my own labor started,” she told People magazine.

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